Name:

Amy Portillo
 

Where are you from originally and how long have you lived (or worked) in the Houston/Sugar Land area?

I am originally from Houston. I have lived and worked in Houston all of my life.
 

Kids/Pets?

No children, but instead four dogs, Chomper, Duke, Kirby, and Ranger.
 

One thing about living or working here that has surprised you the most?

There is ALWAYS something to do. One of the reasons why I enjoy living and working in Houston is because of all the new people I meet at all types of markets. I am also surprised at how many places welcome pets.
 

Can you provide me with a description of your business?

Kirby’s Kitchen, makes home-made all natural dog treats. One of our top treats is our Chomper Chews- Beef Jerky, which is our peanut butter glazed beef. For the dogs that prefer a biscuit, we also offer our PB&P Biscuits, which are made out of pumpkin, peanut butter and oats. I make and package everything one to two days before our events so that our treats stay fresh.
 

How long have you been in business?

One year.
 

What made you decide to be an entrepreneur and open your own business?

I love my dogs so much. All I want is for them to have a long, happy, and healthy life. I named my business Kirby’s Kitchen, Kirby is my first dog. Having him made me responsible, having a dog is a lot of work and it also adds up. I wanted to make sure that my dogs were eating the right things. I knew that the only way I could make sure they were healthy, was by making everything myself. I wanted to share that same happiness I saw in my dogs, with other dogs.
 

What do you enjoy the most about running a business?

The best part is when people tell me how much their dog enjoyed our treats. I have had some very local customers, they have been there for Kirby’s Kitchen since my first market. The fact that people trust me with one of their family members, is why I continue to do what I do.
 

Have you always been entrepreneurial and a risk-taker?

I don’t think I have always been entrepreneurial, and starting Kirby’s Kitchen has pushed me to be creative and want to do more with my business. I was very scared at the beginning, I didn’t want to fail. Now, I don’t see things as failing, but instead as learning from my mistakes and learning on how to make my business better.
 

What did you used to do before you opened your own business?

I was a full-time college student.
 

Why is your place of business different from the rest?

Well there are many things that make us different. When we come up with a new treat, we take into consideration what our dogs love the most. We make sure our dogs love it first, to ensure yours will too. Sometimes there are dogs that are vegetarians, perfect, we have a treat for them too! We also make a new treat for different seasons/holidays. Our treats are only 1-3 ingredients, they are simple, but they are delicious! We keep it simple so that no one is confused on what they are giving their dogs.
 

Favorite restaurant to eat at in Sugar Land?

Blaze Pizza
 

How do you unwind after a long week of work?

Lots of dog cuddles and wine.
 

What would be one fun fact that would surprise people about you?

Before my dogs, I was not really a dog person. Now, I see one and I have to pet them.

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